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UN Security Council rejects US draft resolution

Thursday, October 26th 2023 - 09:56 UTC
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The UN body failed once again to pass a resolution despite Vieira's warning: “This Council must rise to the challenge we face” The UN body failed once again to pass a resolution despite Vieira's warning: “This Council must rise to the challenge we face”

Russia and China exercised their veto power on Wednesday and therefore the United Nations (UN) Security Council rejected a proposed resolution by the United States on the conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas. The document had received the nod from ten countries while chairing Brazil abstained, Agencia Brasil reported.

It was the third resolution rejected by the UN Security Council. The first was presented by Russia on Oct. 16, but without consulting other countries in the construction of the text. The second proposal was presented by Brazil, but despite long negotiations and the addition of suggestions from other governments, the text was vetoed by the US.

On Wednesday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she had incorporated several elements of the resolution presented by Brazil last week, the same resolution rejected by the United States itself. The text also called for a humanitarian pause to allow aid to reach the population in the Gaza Strip.

However, it added a section guaranteeing Israel's right to fight back against terrorist attacks, something that was not in the text presented by Brazilian diplomacy. After the rejection, she said she was disappointed by the result and said that she had listened to everyone in the construction of the text.

Russia then presented a new proposal for a resolution, which was rejected by the United States and the United Kingdom, both with veto powers, in addition to several abstentions.

According to UK representative Barbara Woodward, Russia's proposal could not be accepted because it did not guarantee Israel's right to defend itself. In addition, Woodward pointed out that, once again, there was no consultation between the Russian representative and the other members of the council.

Earlier this week, Brazil's Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira warned that the UN's future hinged on its action about the ongoing war, and, in that regard, the Security Council was to blame for its inaction.

“Much of the reputation of the United Nations depends on its approach to the ongoing crisis,” said Vieira on Tuesday at the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York.

“This Council must rise to the challenge we face. We will probably be judged—and found guilty—by future generations for our inaction and complacency,” he added.

The Brazilian Foreign Minister insisted that diplomacy and dialog were the most powerful assets in the UN Security Council and that the body “has a crucial responsibility in the immediate response to the evolution of the humanitarian and hostage crises.”

Vieira also pointed out that since 2016, the Council has struggled to pass a resolution addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Obstructive strategies have hindered critical decisions related to international peace and security. As a result, the Middle East situation is by far one of the most frustrating issues in the Security Council,“ he lamented.

The Brazilian government's representative at the UN strongly emphasized Brazil's condemnation of acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians and urged the immediate and unconditional release of civilian hostages. Simultaneously, Vieira highlighted that the escalation of violence in Gaza is unacceptable and cited the bombing of civilian infrastructure, which has resulted in the destruction of 42% of homes in the Gaza Strip.

”We cannot tolerate the loss of more than 2,000 Palestinian children. As the occupying power, Israel has a legal and moral obligation to protect the local population under international humanitarian law. The recent events in Gaza are particularly worrying, including the so-called 'evacuation order,' which is causing unprecedented levels of suffering for innocent people,“ stated the Brazilian diplomat.

Vieira also called for strict adherence to international law and advocated the two-state solution in the region. The Brazilian minister underscored that the ongoing occupation of the West Bank is not only illegal but also undermines the potential for lasting peace.

”Israel must stop all colonization activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. The difference in treatment towards settlers and locals is unacceptable. The current and projected Israeli expansion practically eliminates the viability of a future Palestinian state and generates violence and hatred,” he said.

The UN Security Council has five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The rotating members are Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. For a resolution to be approved, it needs the support of nine of the total 15 members, and none of the permanent members can veto the text. There is no such mechanism in the UN General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Wednesday that the war in the Middle East was genocidal. “It’s not a war, it’s a genocide that has killed nearly 2 thousand children who have nothing to do with this war, they are victims of this war. And frankly, I don’t know how a human being is capable of war knowing that the result of that war is the death of innocent children,” he during a brief appearance at the Planalto presidential palace ahead of a conversation with Qatar’s Emir Tamin bin al Thani to address the ongoing crisis.

“I have a phone call [scheduled] with the emir of Qatar to try to find someone who can talk to someone to see if they can release first the Brazilians who are stranded in the Gaza Strip, a few kilometers from the border with Egypt, who want to return to Brazil,” Lula explained. Some 30 Brazilian nationals are in the Gaza Strip awaiting rescue, but an impasse has arisen among authorities over the opening of the border with Egypt. Lula has held talks with the leaders of several countries, including Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, France, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates, in a bid to mediate a solution to the conflict.

“What is currently happening in the Middle East is serious, and it's not a question of discussing who is right or who is wrong, who fired the first shot and who fired the second,” he added. Brazil advocates the release of hostages and the creation of a humanitarian corridor to allow aid to be sent to Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

 

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